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Help remembering the difference between da and de?

I don't just mean because the words are so similar to begin with. "Taso da teo" meaning "cup of tea" vs "taso de teo" meaning "teacup" is a very clean example, but other usage seems a little bit less concrete.

Part of my problem is understanding why it's "kiom da" but "manko de".

Any general insights and mnemonics are greatly appreciated. (And if I'm wrong about "taso de teo", please set me straight!)

June 21, 2015



Da is about an amount

We say "cup of tea" to mean an amount of tea that fits in a cup or a cup full of tea.

"Kiom" is "How many" or "How much" which is dealing with an amount so it uses "da"

"de" means "of"

"manko de" means "lack of"

We say "the man's dog" instead of "the dog of a man", but in Esperanto possession is shown with "de" meaning "of".

We say a teacup to mean a kind of cup used for tea.

So use "de" for a word that describes the first word. I wonder if in Esperanto they might say "ball of meat" instead of "meatball", if they do they would use "de".

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Decent mnemonics. Dankon.

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